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One Cannot Simply Sue, But Must Sue For Something

October 30, 2023

By Thomas McCutcheon

A plaintiff must request a specific remedy, such as a payment it wishes the defendant to make or an action it wants the defendant to take or stop taking.  A plaintiff cannot ask the court to issue an advisory opinion, make a public statement on an issue, or edit a statute, although the courts interpret statutes and have the authority to find them unconstitutional.  

If waiting for a final decision from the court might prove ineffectual to a plaintiff, he or she may request an injunction.  These are situations where immediate and irreparable harm will be done without a court order.  Think of the demolition of a building, once done it can’t be undone.  In those situations a court can order that the opposing party do or stop doing an act – at any time.  The court may grant the request before a trial is completed if:  (1) It deems the plaintiff likely to succeed in the case; (2) The plaintiff will likely to suffer irreparable harm if it is not granted; (3) The plaintiff will likely endure greater harm from the absence of injunction than the other party will endure from it; and (4) the injunction is in the public interest.  

mccutcheon & hamner

Some civil remedies:  (1) Damages: Payment for plaintiff’s losses; (2) Specific performance or injunction:  Litigant must perform or cease performing a specific act such as the sale of a specific of property.  Property, in the eyes of the law, is deemed unique.  Each parcel had its own qualities and therefore the breach of a contract concerning the sale of a house for instance would require the sale of that specific house; (3) Declaratory Judgment:  Rights and obligations of litigants clarified or determined.  We see declaratory judgments in cases of insurance coverage.  Sometimes people will buy particular types of coverage that either do or don’t have the type of coverage they need.  Insurance companies will file to determine that they do not have coverage under a particular type of policy.  For instance, a policy of property damage on a 4-wheeler would cover the 4-wheeler but may not cover injuries caused by the 4-wheeler.  Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.

Buckle up, drive safely and as always your referrals are appreciated!  256-764-0112

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